Conservative candidate and current Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf has withdrawn from the presidential race just days ahead of election day.
According to BBC News, Ghalibaf encouraged his voters to back Hardliner candidate Ibrahim Raisi in order to ensure the ‘preservation of the interests of the people, the revolution and the country’.
What does this mean for the elections?
According to current polls by the Iranian Students Polling Agency (ISPA), Raisi is now second in the race, next to current president and reformist Rouhani. Iran's principalists hope that the support of Ghalibaf is likely to give him a real push in gaining votes and drawing closer to Rouhani in the polls.
According to local Iranian news outlet Tasnim News Agency, Raisi reportedly expressed his gratitude to Ghalibaf saying ‘I thank him. His move was revolutionary’.
They also report that earlier in the week Ghalibaf stated that he came to a decision to pull out of the race in an effort against the ‘inefficient and impotent’ cabinet of Rouhani.
With only three days to go until election day on May 19th, reports also came in today that reformist candidate Jahangiri has also withdrawn from the presidential race and is now backing ally Rouhani.
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